Dr. Kizza Besigye
?Many of our people actually think this is about the players and that it doesn?t concern them but such a mindset is totally wrong. Mbabazi?s actions should be a tip off that whatever is taking place in Uganda will soon affect everyone,? Besigye explained.
Besigye also denied claims by his critics that his contest for presidency is a personal vendetta against Museveni.
?In the past people said that I was running against Museveni because we have personal differences,? Besigye said adding that, ?assuming those claims are true, can we say the same about Mbabazi whose relationship with Museveni we all know??
Besigye was arrested Thursday morning and detained at Naggalama while Mbabazi was arrested midway his journey to Mbale to consult the NRM supporters as he seeks to campaign to become the party?s flag bearer.
Besigye applauded Mbabazi?s move to agitate for change in Uganda saying that, ?my struggle is devoid of personal sentiments and I must really say that it is good news that everyday someone wakes up to reality that we have to liberate this country.?
He however, expressed concern that Mbabazi is shy about admitting that what pushed him to run against Museveni is that they have made a lot of mistakes and have to apologize to the country.
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo argued that the fallout is not new to the NRM but they have always managed to handle them and come out even more victorious.
?If there was a serious problem as Besigye claims then may be these contradictions dating from Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere would have been a challenge but we have a good mechanism of democracy within and managed to deliver services to Ugandans,? Said Opondo.
Besigye cautioned Mbabazi against treating the race for presidency as a mere contestation for power saying that it is about restructuring the state.
He lashed out at police for what he called persecution citing that his arrests were not a matter of the law.
?If these arrests were anything concerning the law, then the Museveni supporters who demonstrated in Mbale would have been treated like me or Mbabazi. But certainly this is a persecution designed to witch hunt our aspirations. For instance what they fault Mbabazi? Besigye said.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga maintained that Besigye would not have been stopped but instead of FDC clearing with the police, it is him that wrote the letter notifying that he would hold a consultative meeting and by the time this was rectified, it was too late for police to organise handling the gathering.
He added that, ?we also had information that the man was planning to hold a massive rally in Kasangati before proceeding to Kawempe and that the owners of the venue had not cleared with him.?
Commenting on constitutional and electoral reforms, Besigye noted that it will only take a snap of the finger for them to be achieved if the people demand for them.
?If citizens feel we must not have another rigged election, the question of time will not apply in achieving the reforms and once we have them, good leaders will eventually emerge and will be able to work in a system that checks them,?
After the 2006 general election, Besigye petitioned the Supreme Court over claims of election rigging and voter bribery which ruled in his favour but sustaining the status quo citing that the magnitude of the fraud could not substantially overturn the results.
Besigye said that although he is coming of age which comes with a natural degeneration in vigour, he vowed to continue struggling for change until results are attained but noted that even in his absence, if Uganda?s problems remain, people will continue with the struggle.
By Nicholas Wassajja, The New Vision